Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Review: The Spirit Level

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Kate Pickett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book was very tough for me to get through. Honestly, I can't quite remember why I signed up for this giveaway in the first place! That said, this is not a book I would've read had I not won it through the FirstReads program on Goodreads. While reading, it reminded me of college. I could see someone reading this as part of a political science or sociology course.

Basically this book is about income inequality and how it's crippling many of the world's richest nations. While, sure, greater income inequality would be nice to see happen, I doubt it's the cure for all of each society's problems like the authors of this book make it out to be. What works for Japan (the most equal of the richest countries) might not work for the USA or the UK. While it seems "simple" - just introduce legislation, taxes, or whatever that would make this equality real - it's not. It would require a change on the very basic levels in people. Given the way our democratic society works here in the US, I just don't see something like this happening - at least not in the near future. Sure, more-equal incomes would be great, but the means to make that happen is something our most conservative and/or wealthy and/or powerful people/groups would fight tooth and nail.

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